Attorneys Eyes Only Confidentiality Agreement

  • 12 września 2021
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In ICG Communications vs Allegiance Telecom, the term „Lawyers` Eyes” was used on all client files. [39] The Claimant, ICG Communications, was a telecommunications operator involved in a Chapter 11 restructuring. The complainant sent his profitable customers a letter in which he would continue to serve them, but informed his unprofitable customers that he would terminate the services. Allegiance Telecom, a competitor, passed on the communication of unprofitable customers to the complainant`s profitable customers in order to encourage those profitable customers to switch services. The discovery involved different customer lists from both parties. The court found that data protection concerns, including those imposed by the Federal Telecommunications Act, justified a good reason for making a protection order limiting the establishment of client lists to „only the eyes of lawyers”. Clients who wish to protect sensitive documents during a dispute may use any combination of the three progressive denominations provided at the discretion of the court: (1) confidentiality, (2) lawyer plus client representative, and (3) „only the eyes of lawyers”. These safeguards raise concerns about the „public`s right to information” (i.e., public access to court documents) and the ethical obligations that lawyers owe to their clients. While these issues have not yet been fully examined by the courts, they are legitimate concerns. In the age of patent and trade secret litigation, there is no doubt that the issue of public access and ethical dilemmas will be at the forefront of these disputes. The decision to authorize restricted disclosure protection orders, including the filing of court records under seal, making these records inaccessible to the public, is at the discretion of the Tribunal. [4] However, a court`s discretion is limited by the long legal tradition of the „presumed right of the public to access and reproduce court documents and records.” [5] As a result, courts can only seal court records if certain interests outweigh the presumption of public access.

[6] Only the „most compelling reasons can justify the non-transmission of court records”. [7] A frequent example of several levels of protection is found in Blanchard &Co. v. While ethical rules may vary from state to state, most provisions are similar to the 1995 ABA Code of Professional Responsibility. According to the Professional Liability Code, Disciplinary Rule 1.4 states that the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut amended an existing protection order by adding this average level of confidentiality. [22] The second step „limited the disclosure of documents labeled as such to external lawyers, external experts, and three designated employees of each company.” [23] Although the court allowed and accepted the more limited disclosure of „only the eyes of lawyers,” the court, by also imposing the less restrictive average level, showed that the client`s needs for certain strictly confidential documents outweighed the opposing party`s desire to keep them absolutely confidential before the counterparty. . . .

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